Judgment obtained in favor of underwriter for losses due to agency fraud

Bill Sauerwein and Trent Bond concluded a major fraud case against a title agency and obtain a $3.5m judgment. Hein Schneider & Bond P.C. represented a national title insurance underwriter against a real estate title and closing agency formerly based in Springfield, Missouri that misappropriated escrow funds from hundreds of its customers. On behalf of our client, we investigated the fraud, petitioned to shut down the agency, enjoined its check kiting and banking activity, and sued to recover losses paid to insureds. Today, in a hearing conducted by Trent Bond, the court entered a judgment the amount of $3.5 million dollars against the agency and its individual owners in favor of our client.

Trent Bond Wins at Trial

Trent Bond successfully tried a case on behalf of a lender that was insured under a policy of title insurance, where the mortgage or deed of trust was lost and the borrower had claimed he had not signed the deed of trust, although he had accepted the loan funds.  Trent filed suit for quiet title pursuant to Missouri’s lost deed law seeking a judgment that its copy of the deed of trust was a true and accurate copy of the lost original and sought to encumber the borrower’s property with a first priority lien.  The Defendants sought to avoid the mortgage altogether and argued that they did not sign the closing documents.  Defendants’ argument was controverted by the testimony of a handwriting expert and ultimately, with the aid of an advisory jury, the Court found that the Defendants signed the deed of trust and intended to encumber their property with it.  The trial was held in Christian County, Missouri.

Trent Bond Elevated to Partner

Hein Schneider & Bond P.C. proudly announces that Trent Bond has been elevated to partner status.  Trent joined the firm in 2008 and has been instrumental in the firm’s growth and success.  Trent is a seasoned trial attorney with a proven track record of winning commercial and real estate cases.  He will continue to concentrate his practice in commercial litigation, real estate litigation, and handling title insurance cases.  Trent lives with his wife and daughters in Crestwood, Missouri and is involved in community activities and organizations, local schools and the Chamber of Commerce.  Trent serves on the board of ReFab St. Louis and is an advisory board member of the Regional Union Construction Center, a not-for-profit corporation that promotes and provides professional support and representation to minority owned businesses. Congratulations, Trent!

Judgment obtained by Bill Sauerwein and Trent Bond affirmed by Court of Appeals

A judgment obtained by Bill Sauerwein and Trent Bond on behalf of a group of homeowners has been affirmed by the Missouri Court of Appeals. In issuing its lengthy opinion, the court of appeals held that correction of the homeowners’ vesting deeds was permitted and proper, even to the detriment of a mechanics’ lien judgment creditor whose sought to attach and enforce its judgment against the homeowner’s property.  The execution on the judgment was quashed and the lien claimant was permanently enjoined from executing against the property in satisfaction of his judgment against the original developer. Read the full opinion at Missouri Land Dev. I, LLC v. Raleigh Dev., LLC, Missouri Court of Appeals, ED99258 (June 28, 2013).

Trent Bond obtains judgment reforming deed of trust and establishing lien priority

On behalf of an insured lender, Trent Bond obtained a favorable judgment following a bench trial, reforming a deed of trust and establishing lien priority.  At issue was the borrower’s dispute of her intent to encumber the entirety of her property and her contest over the validity of her electronic signature on the underlying promissory note.  The Court found that the borrower intended to encumber the entirety of her property and that she did electronically sign the promissory note on a computer terminal provided at the closing of the loan transaction.

Stewart Schneider and Trent Bond obtained Summary Judgment

Stewart Schneider and Trent Bond were awarded Summary Judgment on behalf of a Bank client, in a Judgment declaring the Bank’s deed of trust to be in a first lien position.  Central to the case was whether or not a Quit Claim Deed at issue, which was signed during the grantor’s life but not recorded until after the grantor’s death, was validly delivered to the grantee.  Subsequent to the recording, the grantee sold the property and an heir to the deceased grantor sought to invalidate the Deed and all subsequent conveyances.  The Court found that delivery had been made and the Bank and its borrower qualified as a bona fide purchasers under Missouri law.   The real property at issue was adjudged to be free and clear of the heir’s claims.

Bill Sauerwein and Trent Bond reach favorable resolution of substantial mechanics lien claims.

Bill Sauerwein and Trent Bond successfully resolved claims on behalf of a lender at a mediation conducted at Missouri University School of Law.   At and following the mediation, a favorable settlement was reached with a contractor who filed a substantial mechanic’s lien against lender’s property.

Mechanics Lien Defeated

On behalf of a Lending client, Trent Bond secured Summary Judgment invalidating a mechanics lien on the basis that lien claimant failed to file its mechanics lien claim within six months of last performance of any work on the site in violation of §429.080 RSMo.

Mechanics Lien Summary Judgment

On behalf of national bank as owner through foreclosure, Trent Bond obtained Summary Judgment on the basis that the bank’s interest through its Deed of Trust was prior in time to a claim for a $232,000 mechanic’s lien and therefore the lien been extinguished at foreclosure.

Summary Judgment Victory

On behalf of a lender client, Trent Bond won Summary Judgment on the basis that lien claimant failed to file its mechanics lien claim for $124,000 within six months of last performance of any work on the site.